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Face lifting an Ibanez

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by kalvik, Mar 23, 2014.

  1. kalvik


    Mar 5, 2014
    So for my first step into bass modification, aside from a horrendous plexi pickguard, is making my ol' Ibanez GSR200 as pretty as it plays. The plan is to take some wonderfully patterned laminate and put that over the poly that's there now. The poly is black and I want to do a dark purple to black burst or stain. So what things do I need to consider before putting the laminate on? I was figuring cutting around the bridge to not mess with the action, sand everything down so it kind of blends together, and maybe cut around the knobs so they're more depressed into the body. Is my thought sound? Or should I really remove the poly?

  2. I really think you should remove the poly. First of all, I don't know how well your choice of glue will stick on the poly. So if you want a good result, sand the poly away and even take off the same amount from the top, as the laminate is thick. That way you'll end up with a similar action to what you have now. Also remember, that you have a big forearm contour in your GSR. So a thin laminate would be good in order to bend it over the contour. That way you don't have to burst the hell out of that part...
    If I was you, I'd try to find similar cases and learn from them...
  3. kalvik


    Mar 5, 2014
    Hey thanks! I just didn't know what exactly to look for. My searches, for what I thought were similar keywords and the like, didn't really return much information.
    I should have known that when I started thinking, hey this will save me time, it would end up biting me. I'll get back with some pictures once I find a laminate and some colors worth tearing the bass down for!
  4. GlowRay


    Oct 10, 2011
    Oakdale CA
    When I put a veneer top on my project I basically followed this method:


    Mine was simpler than the one shown (one piece, not bookmatched). I had a forearm contour that I reshaped into a gentler transition, and had no problems with the veneer following the curve. The veneer I used was 1/42 inch, from ebay. I had to do the clothes iron/aluminum foil trick around the neck pocket though, where the veneer had trapped a couple air pockets.

    You may want to consider sanding the top down with a block so that you have an edge where the top transitions to the side (your GSR has a pretty wide roundover, I think?). That helped me define where the veneer top was going to stop, so I didn't lose the shape. Some pictures here:


    Have fun!